There are so many things that are just not available in our little town mountain town of Atenas, Costa Rica. Consequently, I have become the master when it comes to searching the Internet for substitutes to satisfy a craving for something from the "old country".
This time I was trying to come up with something unique for a New Year's Eve party we are going to attend and it dawned on me I couldn't remember the last time I tasted some yummy Texas Queso Sausage Dip. The recipe calls for Velveeta Cheese, not something available at our local supermarket, so to pull this off I would first need to figure out how to make some mock "Velveeta" cheese.
Internet search engine to the rescue! I found a simple recipe in no time at all, using ingredients readily available here in Atenas. It only took just a few minutes to make it and the taste is even better than the "real" thing.
Thanks go to Wynnebaer of Florida, for posting the original recipe on www.grouprecipes.com. The following is my recipe with a couple of changes I think make it even better.
18 ounces of grated Cheddar cheese, divided into 3 equal parts
3 ounces of grated Parmesan cheese, divided into 3 equal parts
3 ounces of grated Mozzarella cheese, divided into 3 equal parts
1 1/2 cups almost boiling water, divided into 3 equal parts
9 tablespoons of instant dry milk, divided into 3 equal parts (1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon)
1/2 envelope unflavored granulated gelatin (1 1/2 tsp.), divided into 3 equal parts
I find that a immersion blender and large measuring cup, or small mixing bowl, work best for mixing the batches, but it can also be made in a regular blender. It's just harder to get the mixture out of the blender with each small batch.
Line a 8x4x2 loaf pan with plastic wrap, or waxed paper. Put a 1/2 cup of almost boiling water, 3 tbls. powdered milk, and 1/2 tsp. gelatin into the large measuring cup or blender. Blend on high until gelatin is totally dissolved. Add 6 ounces of grated Cheddar, 2 ounces of Parmesan and 2 ounces of Mozzarella cheese. Blend until mixture is very smooth and creamy. Pour the mixture into the loaf pan. Repeat the same procedure two more times. (Don't worry about any mixture remaining in the bowl after a batch. It will just get mixed in with the following batch.) Cover the loaf pan with plastic wrap and chill overnight before un-molding.
This should yield about a 2 pound loaf. You will notice the loaf does not have the deep yellow/orange color of regular Velveeta because no food coloring has been added. I like knowing there are no artificial ingredients in it and besides, the taste is great!
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